The Scrapbook is a Johnny-one-note when it comes to our favorite quarterly, National Affairs: It’s great. The Spring 2014 issue arrived on our desk this week, and as usual editor Yuval Levin has assembled a winning lineup. Jim Manzi’s essay on what he calls “the new American system of innovation” is alone worth the price of admission. Diana Schaub writes beautifully on “Lincoln at Gettysburg.” And in between these two masterful essays are an assortment of policy articles that will more than repay your time and attention. Visit nationalaffairs.com early and often.
Despite the administration’s hype of President Obama’s “historic” 15-minute phone call with the ostensibly moderate Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, the looming prospect of direct engagement with the regime in Tehran over its nuclear weapons program, and all the other symptoms of Rouhani fever gripping Washington, the White House says it won’t be suckered by the Iranians. American allies aren’t buying it.
It’s hard to believe that National Affairs, the successor quarterly to the Public Interest, is already on its sixteenth issue. But that issue just arrived on The Scrapbook’s desk, and we see that editor Yuval Levin has put out another smorgasbord of must-read articles. We particularly enjoyed Jeffrey H.
Several of our favorite journals showed up recently in The Scrapbook’s mailbox (no, The Scrapbook hasn’t fully converted to the digital era yet), and they seemed to be even more chock-a-block than usual with interesting articles.
You've reread the Declaration of Independence. You've once again enjoyed Jefferson's extraordinary 50th anniversary letter of June 24, 1826, addressed to Roger Weightman. But you're up for still more reading this weekend, and you think you wouldn't mind something that deals seriously—but also in a lively way—with the current problems of the nation founded by the Declaration 235 years ago. After all, the Declaration itself, by submitting facts to a candid world in order to justify the claim of independence, implies that self-government depends on argument and reflection, not just willful or arbitrary choice.
The Scrapbook is pleased to doff its homburg to the estimable Claremont Review of Books. The Tenth Anniversary issue just landed on our cluttered desk—with a bit of a thud, actually, since it’s a hefty double issue, running 118 pages. But a very high quality thud—it’s an astonishingly compelling assortment.
The economic recovery, to the extent there’s been one, has stalled. Unemployment remains stubbornly above 9 percent and may go higher. The housing crisis endures. What is President Obama’s remedy? More jobless benefits, more money for governors to pay Medicaid bills, more funds for teachers and state and local government jobs. In other words, more of the same.